First Advisor

Yangdong Pan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science and Resources


Environmental Science and Management


Stream invertebrates -- Effect of sediments on -- Oregon, River sediments -- Oregon, Sediment transport -- Environmental aspects -- Oregon, Urban runoff -- Environmental aspects -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource ([vii], 103 pages) : illustrations, map


Urbanization, often characterized by high impervious surface area, can result in excessive inputs of fine sediments into urban streams. Excessive fine sediments can blanket the stream bed filling the interstitial space in the substratum, which may have adverse effects on stream biota. A field survey was conducted in Oregon urban and non-urban basins to investigate the relationship between fine sediments and stream macroinvertebrates. Physical, chemical, and biological data were collected from 59 stream sites in two urban and two rural streams. The stream sites fulfilled a continuous sediment gradient, which ranged from a low of 2% of fine sediment in the substrate to a high of 64% with an average of 22%. The % fines, in Clear Creek (rural basin) was significantly lower than in the urban basins (Johnson Creek and Tryon Creek) (p=0.005). Johnson Creek (mean=23%) had approximately three times more fine sediment than Clear Creek (mean=7%), while Tryon Creek (mean=32%) had nearly five times as much fine sediment as Clear Creek. EPT taxa richness was significantly higher in both rural streams than in both urban streams (p0.05). For example, regression analysis of EPT taxa richness vs. % fine sediments displayed a coefficient of determination (r2) value of 0.2. Other macro invertebrates metrics displayed similar patterns. The lack of significant correlations may be due to the cumulative effect of basin-wide "historical land use past". Past land use activity may have resulted in long-term reductions of sensitive taxa in the basin taxa pool and efforts to improve local habitats may not be quickly colonized by pollution sensitive taxa. Long-term degradation to the urban streams resulted in a relatively homogenous assemblage of macro invertebrates, which may have confounded the quantitative relationship between sediments and macroinvertebrates. This study suggests there is a clear difference between urban and non-urban streams in terms of macro invertebrates, which may be likely due to sediments, but the quantitative relationship between fine sediments and macro invertebrates is weak.


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